Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 5/8/13
LOS ANGELES -- Heath Bell believes closers are born, not made, and he is back in that role after an elbow injury forced J.J. Putz to the disabled list Wednesday. It is not how Bell would have chosen to return to the ninth inning, but he does like the fit. I just thrive in it, Bell said. You know how they say closers are just kind of weird and out there. Born that way. I think Im one of them. Youre all there but you are not, you know. You might have a really long beard, a flavor saver. I dont know what I am. A big kid, I guess. Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson affirmed Wednesday afternoon that Bell will be his closer. Bell saved Tuesdays 5-3 victory in Los Angeles and has converted two of his three save attempts this season. David Hernandez, who is 0-for-3 in save situations, will remain as a primary setup man. Well try Heath for right now. Hes got all the experience. Hes done it a lot. Dont really want to move David. If (Heath) is not available, then well have to decide what we are going to do, Gibson said. Bell can do the work. He had 42, 47 and 43 saves with San Diego from 2009-11 and said he once was used five days in a row and eight out of 10. He was obtained in a three-team trade with Miami and Oakland this winter that also landed Cliff Pennington. Hes pitched very well. Hes had a couple of bad outings, but other than that hes been very good. He feels good about himself. Hes starting to duplicate where he wants to throw the ball, and hes able to pitch to hitters weaknesses, Gibson sad. Bell is 2-0 with two saves and a 4.73 ERA in 14 games, but he has been scored upon in only two of his last 12 outings. Hernandez is 2-2 with a 4.02 ERA. He had nine saves in July, 2011, when Putz was on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis, but he has not shown that same form recently. Hernandez has given up seven runs (four home runs) in his last nine appearances. Im going to go out and do my best to help this team win, if Im pitching the ninth inning or the eighth inning. I cant say thanks enough to everybody thats helped me out here. J.J. has been a part of it, helping me get back on track. I feel like Ive been back on track for a couple of weeks now, Bell said. Expected to be a strength of the team, the bullpen has generally pitched well. Its 2.98 ERA is 10th in the majors leagues, but its failures have been gotten most of the attention. The D-backs have a major league-high 10 blown save opportunities. Putz, 5-for-9 in save chances, is 2-1 with a 4.26 ERA. Somewhat overlooked has been the pitching of earlier-game relievers Matt Reynolds (0-0, 0.00 ERA in 17 appearances), holdovers Brad Ziegler (1-1, 3.06) and Josh Collmenter (1-0, 2.65) and new situational specialist Tony Sipp (1-1, 2.70). Reynolds had two saves in San Francisco two weeks ago, and Gibson hinted that some of that group also could get save chances. Its just a different rotation, so we are going to have to figure out how to rotate guys around, Gibson said. Putz was given an MRI on Tuesday afternoon in Phoenix. Gibson said the results were not immediately available, although he appears resigned to the fact that Putz will be out for awhile. We know he is not going to be back any time soon. Well know fairly quickly the extent of the injury, Gibson said. Hopefully J.J. wont be out that long, but if he is, we have some guys who have done it before. Putz, who had 77 saves in his first two seasons with the D-backs, missed the final four months of the 2009 season after having surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow. He said he felt stiffness in his elbow and shooting pains in his fingers during the final three pitches of a four-pitch walk to Nick Punto, the only batter he faced Tuesday before walking off the field with trainer Ken Crenshaw. Right-hander Will Harris, claimed on waivers from Oakland on April 6, was promoted from Class AAA Reno to take Putzs spot on the roster. Harris was 0-0 with two saves and a 4.63 ERA in 12 appearances in Reno. Follow Jack Magruder on Twitter
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